Coach David Marsh’s Words of Encouragement

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Coach David Marsh’s Words of Encouragement

We recently received the following words of encouragement from an icon in the international world of elite and Olympic swimming, Coach David Marsh.  Dave is a 3x Olympic Coach; 9x NCAA National Coach of the Year; 13xSEC Coach of the Year. As a college athlete he was a 5x All American Back stroker at Auburn University. He has coached age group teams to Elite and 40 Olympic Swimmers from 19 countries.



Dear Shawn,

I’d like to thank you and the Swim Strong Foundation for being leaders in New York to help all people have a chance to learn, grow, and challenge themselves through our great sport (and life skill)—Swimming!


I hope you are keeping the faith that we will work through this pandemic and be back to pools soon.   Several of the athlete’s I coach were focused on competing in the Olympic Games in 2020 and have had to make some significant changes to their training plan and priorities.  Many have also had to adjust their life plan as many were going to be finished with the sport after the Tokyo Games.


My encouragement to them and thus to you is to first acknowledge to yourself with honesty how you feel.  Based on that your emotion state and the physical realities around begin to make a plan that moves you in creative ways toward your goals and ambitions.  Many of the athletes I’m coaching are taking this time to sign up for classes via Zoom on line, they are building their network and gaining positivity by finding family friends and others in need of encouragement to help lift them up and share a message of optimism.  At a physical level most of the athletes are gaining physical strength they never had the time (or energy) to build!  I believe that many will come out of this pandemic better athletes and more mature emotionally by having to be resilient and flexible during this time.


Maya Angelo said:  “I can be changed by what happens to me.  But I refuse to be reduced by it.”


I’d like to ask all involved in the Swim Strong Foundation to vividly visualize how and when getting back to our pools after what we have been through together, we will experience our new opportunities with such gratitude that we will all be much better students, teachers, family members, and global community members.


God Speed and God’s blessings on all of you.


David Marsh

2016 USA Women’s Rio Olympic Coach

Team Elite San Diego

Stand By Me Foundation

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